I love my iOS devices and use them constantly– but I have one problem. The speakers on the devices are terrible and I love to listen to podcasts, especially when writing for Gear Diary. Headphones or speakers are nearly a must, even in a quiet room. Maybe it is too much blasting of speaker systems in high school, too many car races or too many guns, but, for me, ambient noise washes out a voice on a podcast. Given the choice, I would always prefer to go wireless. (And once you have used a wireless speaker for a time wired options quickly feel like last resort options.) One option for wireless music, podcasts etc is the Satechi ST-69BTS Audio Cube. The diminutive cube provides a portable, wireless speaker solution for phones, tablets or laptops. Let’s take a look.
The Satechi Audio Cube is a Bluetooth speaker is 3.1 inches tall and 2.9 inches wide. While not pocket worthy, it is super-portable and light. That makes it able to go anywhere your iOS (or other mobile device) device is to be used. Almost all smartphones, tablets and laptops come standard with Bluetooth audio streaming now so compatibility is as close to universal as possible.The speakercomes in black and the top lights up in blue to reveal control buttons. The compact design is attractive; the blue lighting is a gorgeous. I have even stuck the speaker in the opposite pocket from my phone to listen while walking around the house doing chores. While I would not recommend carrying it around this way out in public or while working out, it works fine on the go at home.
Portable Bluetooth wireless speaker with compact bass design streams music with 2×2 Watt Speaker
Bluetooth Ver. 2.1: AVRCP, A2DP / Automatic connection / One time pairing
Rechargeable lithium-ion battery through USB lasting up to 6 hours of playback time
Multifunctional buttons control playback and volume functions
Compatible with Apple iPhone 4S / 4 / 3GS / 3G / iPod Touch G4 / iPad / Mackbook / Mackbook Pro / Macbook Air / iMac / Mac Mini. Motorola Xoom / Atrix / Droid X / Droid 2 / Droid / Milestone / Backflip / CLIQ / CLIQ XT. HTC Flyer / EVO 4G / Droid Incredible / Droid Eris / Aria / Hero / HD2 / HD7 / Nexus One / Tilt 2 / Touch Pro / Desire / Imagio / Shift 4g / Thunderbolt. Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1/ i9000 / Captivate / Fascinate / Vibrant / Epic 4G / Moment / Focus / Alias / Nexus S / Omnia II , 7 Continuum. Blackberry Playbook / Torch / Storm / Storm 2 / Bold / Bold 2 / Tour / Curve / Curve 2 / Pearl 3G T-Mobile MyTouch 4G / MyTouch 3G / G2 / G1 Nokia N900 / N8 / Nuron / N97 LG Quantum / Optimus Dell Streak / ASUS Eee Pad Transformer / ViewSonic gTablet / HP TouchPad
Using the ST-69BTS Audio Cube is super-simple. Upon powering up, you simply hold down the power button until the unit beeps and the lights begin to flash quickly. The speaker is now “discoverable” to your device. I was able to quickly pair with my MacBook Pro, iPad and iPhone 4. Not surprisingly as this has become standard among Bluetooth devices, the cube remembers each device and is able to automatically connect upon future power-ups. Once connected, the top of the speaker can be used to control the audio coming from the device.
The lighted areas with symbols for pause/play and advance or reverse tracks just need a simple click to activate. when you press and hold those areas the secondary function, the power button and volume rockers, are activated.
If the audio source does not feature Bluetooth, an auxiliary port on the back of the unit can be used to make the connection. Basically the audio cube is usable by any device with either Bluetooth or a 3.5mm audio output source. The Satechi includes a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that charges via USB. The power can come from a wall output or a computer port. The specs boast a six hour battery. In my uses it has gone ever bit of that if not more. In fact, I have only charged the speaker once and I have used it every couple of days for a week or so.
All of these features are fine and dandy but a speaker is not worth anything if the audio quality is poor. The ST-69BTS Audio Cube contains a dual channel speaker system with 2 watt output to bring stereo sound. Even though both speakers are contained in a single small unit, the stereo sound quality is awesome. A small amount of space is left between the speakers and the bottom of the unit and I think that is what assists in the great bass sound. While this is not going to trump your home audio system or 3.1 computer desk speakers, the sound quality is impressive considering the size of the device. I have listened to television shows, movies, music and podcasts with positive results. The tiny cube just sounds great!
I love the sleek design and style of the Satechi ST-69BTS Audio Cube. The product is small and portable while still boasting full range, quality audio. The battery is recharged via mini USB so finding a cord or place to recharge is easy and it lasts for up to six hours of playback. As previously noted, I have used the unit for over a week without a second charge. This is a lot of speaker for a small price in a tiny package and I would gladly use the speaker in my home while moving from room to room, my office desk or even outside when we take out the camper. Check out more at the Satechi website.
What I like: Sleek design, simple to use and sounds great! Awesome product.
What could be improved: If this speaker included the ability to be used as a speaker phone, it would always be near me.